Stumped On What's Wrong With My Angelfish

Rainy day

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Hey all,

One of my adult females has been acting weird lately but isn't showing too many symptoms, so I'm unable to figure out how to treat her.

She spends most of her day hovering behind a large piece of driftwood and is generally lethargic. She will still dart around when spooked, however. She also doesn't show as much interest in food as she one did. While all the other angels will dart to the front of the tank at feeding time, she'll stay behind her wood, and slowly make her way over a bit later. She'll take a few bites and then head straight back. Other than that she also seems to try and spit something out every now and again but she's definitely not choking or anything. Her gill plate may be slightly raised as well, though I'm not 100% sure on that.

Any ideas on what could be wrong? 81f, 0ppm ammonia and nitrite, 30ppm nitrate,75 gallons.


EDIT: I've tried medicating her food with kanamycin and metronidazole so far but it's pretty hard to feed her before the other angels get it and before the meds dissipate. I know she's gotten some into her system for sure though it doesn't seem to have helped.
 

Mick Frost

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I would suggest a salt bath, but someone who keeps Angels will have to fill in the details. Inflamed gills could be parasitic, so isolation is important too.
 

TexasDomer

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I wouldn't medicate since you don't now what's wrong.

What size tank and what's the full stocking? It sounds like a stress/aggression/bullying situation to me, with the other angels keeping her isolated (yes, this can happen even if you don't see them touching her).
 
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Rainy day

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I wouldn't medicate since you don't now what's wrong.

What size tank and what's the full stocking? It sounds like a stress/aggression/bullying situation to me, with the other angels keeping her isolated (yes, this can happen even if you don't see them touching her).
I ruled that out since she's pretty much the only aggressive angel in the tank.

5x Angelfish
6x German rams
10x Cardinal tetras
6x Otocinclus
75 gallons

Of the other 4 angels, 3 don't bother anyone and the fourth one is totally dominated by the angel that's experiencing issues right now.
 

TexasDomer

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Just because you don't see the aggression, and even though she has been aggressive herself, doesn't mean things couldn't have changed. 5 angels is a lot for a 4ft tank, and not a lot of room for territories.
 
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Rainy day

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Just because you don't see the aggression, and even though she has been aggressive herself, doesn't mean things couldn't have changed. 5 angels is a lot for a 4ft tank, and not a lot of room for territories.
Very true though I highly doubt it. They've been together for 3+ years now and she's always been the largest and most dominant one. The tank is also right beside my work area, so I'm right beside it for 7+ hours, on the days I have off, and i've yet to see her even be touched :/. Really wish I knew what was going on.
 
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Rainy day

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The poor angel has started having swim bladder issues, I don't have the heart to euthanize her, she's one of my favorites. Is there any coming back from this?
 

TexasDomer

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My fish act very differently when I'm near, so keep in mind that that could be happening. And hierarchies can change.

Without knowing exactly what's wrong and what could be causing the swim bladder issue, we can't tell you what her chances are. I had a Mesonauta that was bullied and stressed into a similar issue (stress reduces immune function, opens them up to diseases): he seemed to lose control of his swimming and kinda floated around.

Do you have a QT tank you can mover her to?
 
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Rainy day

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Unfortunately not as my only QT is currently occupied by cardinal tetras. I saw some of my cardinals messing with her while she layed on the ground so I moved her into a large mesh breeder. I know it's bound to cause some stress but I'd assume she'll be even more stressed by being picked at by the other fish, and eventually the other angels.

I'm still fairly confident she wasn't bullied, 2 of the other 4 are a mated pair that no longer breeds and keeps to their own territory and she has her own female mate. The other lone angel doesn't even chase juvenile cardinals. Though I guess something must've stressed her out for her to reach this point. Also, in my original post I made it seem as though she was hiding, but in reality behind the driftwood is her territory. It's where she spends the majority of her time and where she "sleeps". Also, she didn't show the physical signs of an angel that's been bullied. She was hovering around with her fins fully displayed as opposed to them being clamped and her looking stressed. I guess the fact that the other angels have started fighting with each other today re-enforce that she was the dominant one.
 
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Rainy day

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I definitely did consider it though I worried she wouldn't be able to handle the stress that came with it and am unsure if I could keep the parameters stable enough for her. The breeder box is very large and is quite "planted". I don't think she can see into the tank. What do you say? Should I transfer her to her own tank or leave her in the 75?
 

TexasDomer

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It wouldn't be that much stress to move her. Just make sure that there's decor in the new tank to give her hiding spots. You can keep the parameters stable through water changes and using seeded media.

I'd still move her, if it were my tank/fish.
 
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Rainy day

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That's the issue, I'm very busy right now and won't be able to provide frequent water changes, hopefully I don't experience a mini-cycle. I can transfer her over to a 30 gallon, which should be large enough to give me a break between water changes.

Also, any ideas on how to feed her? It's been nearly 6 days since she stopped eating and I'm a bit worried. I tried putting some flakes near her mouth but she just spits them out. These are garlic coated flakes as well.
 
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Rainy day

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They can go a few weeks, so I wouldn't panic about that yet. Have you tried frozen foods?
Yep, the only thing I haven't tried is live and there's no way she'd be able to catch live foods at this point.
 

TexasDomer

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If you haven't already, maybe try handfeeding a few frozen bloodworms? Even my sick fish ate those when I put them right up to their mouths.
 
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Rainy day

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If you haven't already, maybe try handfeeding a few frozen bloodworms? Even my sick fish ate those when I put them right up to their mouths.
That's pretty much exactly what I'm doing. I'm using tweezers and putting food right at her mouth, she'll even suck some in while breathing only to spit it out moments later. I've tried garlic flakes, veggies, frozen blood worms and frozen brine shrimp. She's not afraid of the tweezers as that's how I used to feed her blood worms before she became ill.
 
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Rainy day

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Well, I've managed to help her fight off any external issues that she had and she's visibly looking healthier and is a bit more active. She swims away incredibly quickly when she gets spooked. However, she's still laying on her side and still isn't eating. Does anyone know what I should do next to help her?
 

jtwizz

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Following. I am having a similar issue with one of my Platyfish right now, although I was able to pinpoint a physical injury as the cause of her issues. sorry I can't be of more help. my fish has not had more than a bite or two of food that I've noticed in the past 2 weeks either, or a bowel movement in as much time.
 
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